Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ex-US Embassy guards still seek compensation

Ex-US Embassy guards still seek compensation

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former security guards for the US Embassy and their families protest outside the mission on June 19. Pha Lina

Ex-US Embassy guards still seek compensation

A spokesman for the Ministry of Labour said he is yet to receive a complaint from 32 former US Embassy security guards who claimed they were fired over false accusations of possessing and sharing child pornography.

However, the guards claimed they had filed the complaint on June 22 to the ministry after about 20 of them protested in front of the US Embassy on June 19 over their dismissal.

Labour Ministry spokesman Heng Sour, in a message to The Post on Monday, said he has not received the complaint from the guards, who accused the embassy of firing them over baseless allegations.

“I have not received information about this yet,” he wrote.

Long Seng Kimhong, who represented the 32 ex-staffers, said they were waiting for a reply from the ministry after filing their complaint seeking justice and demanding the embassy officials show them the alleged pictures for which they have been terminated.

“We are waiting for a solution from the Ministry of Labour first, in order to know how they are going to solve this for us. We have not received any information yet."

“We want justice and we want the US Embassy to show the pictures to us. We also want to get our six-month seniority bonus for which we are entitled."

“We filed our complaint with the ministry because we have been unfairly treated and fired over untrue claims. What we want the most is for the embassy to show us the pictures,” Seng Kimhong said.

He said that embassy officials asked two of the former guards on June 21 whether there was a third party fuelling the protests.

“I replied that we do not have anyone behind us. We wanted to protest immediately when they fired us . . . and we asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Samdech’s [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s] cabinet, and the municipal hall twice [for help], so there is no one behind us.

“We protested because it is unfair [that we were fired],” Seng Kimhong said.

On Monday, Arend Zwartjes, the embassy’s public affairs officer, said: “The US government takes incidents involving child pornography and child exploitation very seriously.

“In such cases, there are strict protocols for handling material in the interest of protecting victims. We do not release evidence in these kinds of cases except through sensitive law enforcement channels."

“As we have said before, we do not comment on internal personnel issues. We do, however, have extensive processes in place to deal with grievances.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • US told to refrain from interfering in Sokha case

    Senior Cambodian officials said on Thursday that the US can monitor Kem Sokha’s trial as it wishes but would not be allowed to interfere in court procedures. The point was made in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments on Wednesday

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara